Man Utd ‘agrees terms’ with Championship recruitment chief; Red Devils to trigger trio of extensions

Joe Williams
Man Utd to keep Mejbri
Hannibal Mejbri scores for Manchester United.

Premier League side Manchester United have agreed terms with Cardiff City head of academy recruitment Ben Clarke, according to reports.

The Red Devils have had a poor start to the new Premier League season with Erik ten Hag coming under pressure over recent performances and results.

But there has been some more positive news coming out of Old Trafford in recent days with the potential arrival of Sir Jim Ratcliffe as a minority investor.

News broke on Saturday that Sheikh Jassim had pulled out of the takeover race after he failed to agree a price with the Glazers for 100 per cent of the club.

And now Ratcliffe has agreed to buy 25 per cent of the club with the deal expected to go through in the coming days and weeks, and it is expected to be the ‘first stage of a full takeover’.

The British billionaire is looking ‘to complete a radical overhaul of Manchester United’s football department’ with Ten Hag reportedly in favour of major changes.

READ MORE: Ralf ‘The Prophet’ Rangnick’s five Man Utd problems and what Ten Hag has done to solve them

And their latest imminent appointment could have Ratcliffe’s fingerprints on it with Football Insider claiming that the Red Devils ‘set to appoint Cardiff City’s Ben Clarke to a recruitment role at Old Trafford’.

It is understood that he has ‘impressed in his role at the Championship club’ and the report adds that ‘he has agreed terms with United and is heading from Cardiff soon’.

Football Insider add: ‘United are looking to improve their youth set-up and have targeted Clarke to head up their academy recruitment as they look to bring the best young talent in the country and across the world to Old Trafford.’

And Man Utd also plan to ‘trigger the one-year extensions in the contracts of Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the coming months’, according to the Manchester Evening News, as well extending impressive youngster Hannibal Mejbri’s deal for another year too.

The trio are out of contract in the summer and are likely to trigger their extensions as they mull over improved terms for Wan-Bissaka and Hannibal.

Hannibal has particularly impressed this term after a successful loan spell at Birmingham City last season with Tim Sherwood waxing lyrical about the youngster.

Sherwood said on Sky Sports: “He seems to pick superstars. £50m, £70m, £100m players – he throws them onto the pitch and hopes one of them does something to get him out the mire.

“Say what you want about him (Hannibal) and people will say, ‘He’s not a £100m player, he’s not this or that’ – but he went to Birmingham, worked hard on loan there, he came back and for me, he was Man of the Match in a couple of games.

“But as soon as someone else is fit, he is out the door. Sit on the bench, son. Someone else comes in and strolls around the pitch, doesn’t want to run around or get the ball back.”